By Ace Collins
Abingdon Press, 2016
Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.
Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.
In Service Tails: More Stories of Man's Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance---stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.
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Like the title suggests, Service Tails is an interesting, well written, and informative collection of stories about service dogs that tugs at the heart – but it is so much more. Ace Collins delights with a collection of stories infused with knowledge and passion for his subject. Each real-life account is unique and, if you reflect on them for a while, a deeper spiritual truth begins to surface. On a physical level, it’s about the teaming of dog and person with the goal of enhancing the potential of a disabled person – and in that regard, they are very entertaining. But it all comes down to something that we often find challenging as Christians, and that is surrendering control and giving complete trust.
Before reading Service Tails, I knew very little about these special dogs, but my interest was piqued some time ago when I discovered that Suzanne Woods Fisher raised puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, so I was eager to discover more. All I can say is that these are amazing animals and there is no way to comprehend how they do what they do. Their service reaches far beyond seeing-eye dogs, to hearing and beyond. They are selfless. They sense a person’s needs and are constantly adapting to meet those needs. They change lives, unlock potential, and restore a person’s freedom. For people whose disability made them somewhat of a social outcast, these dogs were a magnet that made them the center of attention. In the chapter entitled “Team Potential,” Christina says about Tatiana . . .
“The dog epitomizes pure, selfless, and unconditional love. She lives in the moment, accepts people for who they are, and simply loves life. She is loyal and dependable and never holds grudges. If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.”
Beginning with the story of Morris Frank, the young man who started the service dog movement, the Service Tails collection reminds us to not let people be defined by their disability. And maybe you know of someone who could be helped by a service dog.
When asked about this book’s main message, Ace replied, “Don’t fall into the trap of underestimating a person or a dog. No matter the disability, with the right partner and enough faith, the sky is the limit. These stories prove that.” They certainly do, Ace.
Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children's works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas.
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Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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